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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Frog or RM's offering. Any advice? in Technical; Originally Posted by danIT Would love to speak with people actually using Frog, would love to see what people have ...
  1. #16
    RyburnMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danIT View Post
    Would love to speak with people actually using Frog, would love to see what people have done with the vast array of tools in terms of delivering learning resources for pupils.
    Apologies - I generally try to keep out of these type of discussions in case I'm accused of bias or advertising. However, I'm going to break my own rules just this once

    See www.frogtrade.com/whitepapers or www.frogtrade.com/casestudies - both have a number of schools, what they are doing and contact details of key people to speak with there.

    I'd also like to agree with a couple of other comments, which are absolutely true whichever VLE you have - 'Linfit' is right (16/04 below), you need buy in and drive from the top, and 'russdev' (17/04) is also spot on, the implementation and planning are key aspects of success

    Cheers

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    Thanks for your comments and links, but id rather speak to a school using Frog that isnt on your list. I know that probably sounds a bit backwards but I want to see a normal run of the mill school.

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    No problem - I understand your reasoning

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    RyburnMark what about ILP's?

    I know frog does the learning part winderfully but my worry is regarding the future and online ILP's.

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    We've taken on Kaleidos thanks to a subsidised offering and we're now tied into it for several years I believe.

    It's alright, nothing spectacular though. On the plus side, it's very intuitive and I don't think anyone can argue that it's difficult to use, either as a staff member creating content or as a pupil navigating. However it has a major flaw - Speed. If you've got a slow or unreliable connection, forget it. We're running a 2Mb connection due to costs of upgrading and it's very sluggish with just a handful of users, so getting an entire class on is going to be a no-no for the time being which is a big limiting factor. It seems reasonably responsive from home on my 8Mb broadband so it would probably be acceptable in schools with a half-decent connection.

    The other problem is that student's logins are generated, meaning that we have no control over them. Ideally, we'd have liked something tied into AD so we could stick with a single set of login credentials for ease but again it's just another niggle and another set of passwords to constantly have to change.

    I know that somebody mentioned in-house solutions like Frog can be used even if the Internet is down, and whilst that's obviously true, the same applies in reverse - Nobody can access it from home if the connection is down. Yes, I like services to be available in school, though it's important that VLE's can be accessed from anywhere, so again a lot rides on the quality of your connection.

  6. #21

    russdev's Avatar
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    Over usernames we decided in end to have our network logins the same as our portal usernames.

    Russ

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    That may be an option in the future when our feeder schools send kids through that are already on Kaleidos (I believe all Primary schools in our area are now using this as their weapon of choice), though at present it would rock the boat to too much of a degree to be practical - Obviously the kids are familiar with the present choice of usernames and structure, and we also tie these to various other systems such as our printing card system.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Sorry should of been clear we kept old ones and started that with this current year 7.

    Russ

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    (Sorry, Russ, I know you like kaleidos and keep saying it workks well, but...)

    Our LEA got kaleidos so we didn't get a say in it. We had LEA provided training on it on version 1, which was horrible. Then along came version 2. It is better but, after having Kaleidos for at least 18 months, probably longer now, no one in the school I work in is using it. And I've checked with a few other schools - same thing. I think perhaps one primary in whole LEA is trying to make a go of it. Everything takes so long (loading a powerpoint took two minutes), there are too many steps, it has an annoying default home page, it isn't intuitive. Yes, it can take your users off of your MIS. But what's the point if the users don't then use it? If FROG set up a dummy for you to use, that's brilliant. Get some real live teachers to try it and if they like it go for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
    On the plus side, it's very intuitive and I don't think anyone can argue that it's difficult to use, either as a staff member creating content or as a pupil navigating. However it has a major flaw - Speed. If you've got a slow or unreliable connection, forget it. We're running a 2Mb connection due to costs of upgrading and it's very sluggish with just a handful of users, so getting an entire class on is going to be a no-no for the time being which is a big limiting factor. It seems reasonably responsive from home on my 8Mb broadband so it would probably be acceptable in schools with a half-decent connection.

    The other problem is that student's logins are generated, meaning that we have no control over them. Ideally, we'd have liked something tied into AD so we could stick with a single set of login credentials for ease but again it's just another niggle and another set of passwords to constantly have to change.
    I will happily argue that it is difficult to use! But I agree with the speed issue. And I'd forgotten about the pupil username problem: for some of our primary children, having to remember two different logins is a nightmare.

  11. #26

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    @Andie

    Out of interest how was the portal rolled out to your school. What help did you get from LA to roll it out? Did the school have a plan as to how it will roll out?

    Reason ask is one thing noticed is that people often have bad experiences with a LA wide portal but then someone on their own using same portal has no major issues.

    I do wonder sometimes is if large problem with some la wide portals is a non-technical problem as RM give very good roll out consultancy in my view but I think in LA wide installs this often does not filter down to schools.

    But maybe I am wrong.

    As for speed was quite an issue early on but has improved no end. Usernames going to have that with any hosted portal that is connected to other sites as said for us not major issue we just started to use the portal username as logins since last september (before that were using rbc email logins).

    Trust me compared so some portals KLP is very intuitive.

    Also what find is staff will always not want to use it key is get students using it find key staff who will use it and make sure that they use it with students. Staff do come around.

    As said all along this is me talking about us using it and how we have found it.

    Russ

    p.s

    Just to say I wasn't trying to say Andie that your problems where down to it being LA wide etc just comment got me thinking of more generic issues people are having.

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    Andie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    @Andie

    Out of interest how was the portal rolled out to your school. What help did you get from LA to roll it out? Did the school have a plan as to how it will roll out?

    Reason ask is one thing noticed is that people often have bad experiences with a LA wide portal but then someone on their own using same portal has no major issues.

    I do wonder sometimes is if large problem with some la wide portals is a non-technical problem as RM give very good roll out consultancy in my view but I think in LA wide installs this often does not filter down to schools.

    But maybe I am wrong.

    As for speed was quite an issue early on but has improved no end. Usernames going to have that with any hosted portal that is connected to other sites as said for us not major issue we just started to use the portal username as logins since last september (before that were using rbc email logins).

    Trust me compared so some portals KLP is very intuitive.

    Also what find is staff will always not want to use it key is get students using it find key staff who will use it and make sure that they use it with students. Staff do come around.

    As said all along this is me talking about us using it and how we have found it.

    Russ

    p.s

    Just to say I wasn't trying to say Andie that your problems where down to it being LA wide etc just comment got me thinking of more generic issues people are having.
    The LEA (who for the record are not Cambridgeshire) were responsible for training two key administrators over two days who were then responsible for rolling it out to their schools, with additional training a month later for subject leaders. Part of the training was given over to planning roll out in your own school. The following is just my opinion, and not an official opinion of the school: the LEA training was not good; I felt that the LEA trainers hadn't been well trained in Kaleidos themselves nor had they had enough time to look at it properly for themselves. I have no idea how these individuals were trained. That was version 1. Unfortunately, we then went over to version 2 which rendered a lot of our initial training obsolete. The training for that involved a couple of hours for two people from each school going to a room with no hands on facilities whilst a chap from RM went through what we needed to know. Subject leader training did not seem to go well either from the feedback that was recieved here. This was again LEA led. There have been other factors affecting the LEA rollout that couldn't be gone into here.

    Our school did develop a plan to roll out the platform. Unfortunately, at each stage we have hit technical problems which have meant logging a support call with RM. For example, the teacher who was trying to roll out to his class was unable to load resources - the machine just froze. My other bugbear is that we did hit a few issues with the way usernames are generated, which were traced back to issues with Integris that had been solved by LEA workarounds. So I tried to get RM to look realistically at these. Now call me niave, but as RM own both Integris and Kaleidos I thought this would be simple. But no. Apparently RM hadn't trained their Integris staff on Kaleidos or their Kaleidos staff on Integris. Now, as the two work closely together, in that the data from Integris is extracted into Kaleidos, and it matters how you enter that data and what fields are extracted, I would have thought it would be quite important by version 2 stage to have thought about this!

    In part the LEA roll out has been a factor in our lack of enthusiasm for Kaleidos. But as an individual who has tried to use it and has been pushing away to get things sorted for over 18 months now, it is not the only factor.

    I prefer not to go into greater detail in public. We haven't given up entirely. There are possible other ways to do this. We start paying in a year and it will be awful, in my opinion, to be spending money on something that we don't use.

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    We have used Frog for nearly 3 years and it has proved to be very popular with staff, flexible and reliable. It really is an excellent system ... if you get the chance to procure it do it ...you will not regret it

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    Perhaps a little bit off topic, I dont really understand how resources or activties as such get added to Frog?

    I've seen Frog in the flesh but im still confused.

    What i see are various areas where i can pick up 'web pages' or other objects, I can create webpages and elborate interfaces using the web page builder or use templates which have been created by other staff.

    Could someone explain, demonstrate via a login, how a student might go about collecting and collaborating with Frog?

  15. #30

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    Dan, can you elaborate on what you mean by "collection and collaborating"? Frog doesn't at present offer anything like a wiki (as far as I am aware), but does have forums, forms (for quizes, questionnaires, and data collection etc). Frog 3.0 due in the next couple of weeks will bring a new wave of social networking features much like facebook...

    Are there particular things you are wanting to achieve or have in mind?

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